News Investigators/ The Managing Director, Goge Africa, Nneka Isaac-Moses, has urged tourism practitioners to emphasise values that project Nigeria as a preferred destination choice for tourists, rather than devalue its worth.
Mrs. Isaac-Moses made the call while speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday in Lagos, in commemoration of the 2022 World Tourism Day, with theme, “Rethinking Tourism”.
She said that “our tourism practitioners need to desist from the habit of demarketing Nigeria’s tourism potential.”
NAN reports that the World Tourism Day is celebrated annually on Sept. 27.
It is earmarked to raise awareness on the role of tourism within the international communities and demonstrate how it affects social, cultural, political and economic values worldwide.
According to her, the act of demarketing the nation is done consciously and unconsciously by various practitioners and Nigerians who consistently complain about insecurity, poor state of tourism sites and more.
She emphasised that continuous engagement in demarketing the country would be detrimental to the growth of the tourism industry and the nation.
According to her, this must stop while focus should be on projecting the good image of the country and dwelling more on positive stories.
“I urge Nigerians generally, most especially tourism practitioners to stop demarketing this country, each time practitioners have an opportunity to speak in public, they unconsciously paint Nigeria bad.
“They forget the heritage and history, our contribution to global development in various areas of human endeavours, the natural endowment of this great country, her creative and resilient people.
“We should not forget our unstoppable discerning youths with guts and enough ideas to rule the continent.
“I think Nigerians should discuss these negatives among themselves constructively, let’s minimise the public outbursts about the negatives,” she said.
Isaac-Moses noted that success stories abound in the Nigerian music, film and literature scenes, which should be projected more.
She said the problem of insecurity was recorded almost everywhere across the globe as it was not only peculiar with Nigeria.
“Look at what Nigeria is doing in the global music space, literature, film industry, we are not as unsafe as Mexico, USA with their gun-toting youths, people still visit Israel and Lebanon.
“South Africa has continued to project and market their mosaic of cultures and colours rather than the creepy shadows of their past history.
“The Rwanda genocide has been packaged for tourism and they are reaping the benefits of tourism arrivals.
“I think Nigerians should learn to stop complaining so much about the negatives and our failed leadership, rather we should focus on the positives and the possibilities that we have within us as a people and the beautiful prospects tomorrow has to offer,” she said.
Mr. Isaac-Moses advised that as the world tourism day was been celebrated, the initiator of the day, late Ignatius Atigbi, a Nigerian, should always be remembered.
She said late Atigbi proposed the idea of marking September 27 of every year as World Tourism Day. (NAN)